New Balance has shown some signs of working towards decarbonising its supply chain since the 2021 Scorecard, but its emissions targets of 30% reduction in Scopes 1, 2 and 3 are still too low. Its actual supply chain emissions increased by a shocking 47% since 2019. The company has taken the positive step of committing to phase out coal-fired boilers by 2030. It reported engaging positively with its supply chain to increase energy efficiency and transition to renewable energy, but it should build in greater financial support for suppliers. The company was also active since the previous scorecard in advocating for renewable energy internationally. New Balance should do more to support and invest in textile recycling solutions and repair, and recycling of its own products while moving away from fossil fuel derived materials to reduce the impact of its raw materials. New Balance also reported a significant increase in its shipping emissions, and is not taking discernible actions to address this.
*2020-2021 data; 2019 data not reported
Key Findings for New Balance
New Balance has set a goal of 30% absolute reduction across Scope 1,2, and 3 by 2030 against a baseline of 2017. This is not in line with keeping warming below 1.5°C.
New Balance has set a renewable energy target in its own operations of 100% by 2025, but it will be a mix of energy that is additional to the grid and renewable energy credits.
New Balance has yet to set a target of 100% renewable energy for its supply chain by 2030, which is an essential step for decarbonising its manufacturing.
Coal phase out:
As a signatory of the renewed UN Fashion Charter, New Balance has committed to phasing out coal-fired boilers from its supply chain by 2030 to reduce air pollution and cut emissions.
New Balance publicly reports GHG emissions in its own operations, and in its supply chain. The company does provide a full breakdown of its Scope 3 emissions.
New Balance does publicly report its energy use for its own operations, including a breakdown of its renewable energy use and how that energy is sourced.
For its supply chain, New Balance does not publicly report its energy use, a breakdown of its suppliers’ renewable energy use, or how that energy is sourced.
New Balance provides a partial supplier list to Tier 1.
New Balance provides its suppliers with training and resources to help them make energy efficiency improvements, including partnering with the IFC, Aii, GIZ and Clean by Design, and connecting suppliers with third parties to train factory teams and support capacity building. New Balance does not report providing its major suppliers with financial incentives for energy efficiency measures, and does not require them to make energy savings as a condition of contract.
New Balance does not require suppliers to reduce thermal coal demand in their manufacturing processes.
New Balance does report providing some suppliers with training and resources to help them transition to renewable energy, including partnering with IFC to assess rooftop installation feasibility and implementing an engagement campaign to educate suppliers on climate change, particularly in Vietnam. The company does report providing financial incentives to encourage suppliers to make the energy transition, such as featuring climate change performance in supplier awards schemes. But it does not require suppliers to use renewable energy as a condition of contract.
New Balance does require its Tier 1 suppliers to disclose GHG emissions data but does not require them to set GHG emissions reduction targets, and it does not require suppliers to provide facility level data via the Higg Index.
New Balance has not made any commitments to phase out fossil fuel based materials.
New Balance has not made a public policy to ban the sourcing of leather from the Amazon Biome or taken measurable steps to ensure that Amazon leather is not contributing to deforestation, but the company does have processes in place to avoid leather sourced from deforested regions, such as a commitment to source 100% of leather from preferred sources. However, New Balance was found to be at high risk of sourcing leather from deforestation in the Amazon Biome according to the Nowhere to Hide report.
New Balance reports acting to increase closed-loop apparel-to-apparel recycling for synthetics and natural fibres by committing to work towards increasing its use of sustainable materials and developing end-of-life solutions for a circular ecosystem, but it has not set specific targets relating to textile recycling. New Balance has committed to reduce the impact of its raw materials sourcing by switching to organic cotton or cotton sourced from regenerative agriculture by 2025, and using 50% recycled polyester (rPET) by 2025.
New Balance is acting slowly to increase circularity by setting a target for zero waste to landfill from Tier 1 footwear factories by 2025 and exploring repair and recycling opportunities, but needs to set clear goals and timelines and ensure that they contribute to reducing production.
New Balance does not publicly report its material mix, its volume of deadstock or how it manages or disposes of its deadstock to reduce waste.
New Balance did report its shipping emissions in 2020 and 2021, but not in 2019. It does include shipping emissions in its GHG reduction targets. It does not provide a breakdown of its transportation methods.
New Balance does not appear to have a policy to avoid aviation and commit to slower shipping methods such as maritime, rail and land, and the company does not report having a near-term plan to ship its cargo via cleaner methods. New Balance reported a 42.5% increase in its upstream transportation and distribution emissions in 2021.
New Balance has not committed to transitioning to zero emissions vessels (ZEV) by 2030. The company has not used its voice publicly to advocate for Zero Emission Shipping.
New Balance has yet to commit to transitioning its last mile delivery to zero emission vehicles.
New Balance is in coalition with 39 other companies to sign the Clean Energy Demand Initiative (CEDI) Global Letter of Intent. This letter calls for a global clean energy transition in partnership with governments, non-profits, and other organizations. New Balance has signed a joint statement to the government of Vietnam advocating for the creation and implementation of Power Development Plan VIII. This plan must prioritise renewable energy investment while also accelerating the country’s clean energy transition. New Balance also signed a statement of mutual aspiration encouraging the government of Indonesia to accelerate a renewable energy transition to achieve at least 50% RE energy mix by 2045. New Balance was relatively active over the Scorecard period in advocating for renewable energy within supply chain regions.
More About New Balance
EngagementNew Balance provided feedback on the 2023 Scorecard
- “Declaration of Support for Renewable Energy in Mexico.” Clean Energy Investment Accelerator, https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b7e51339772aebd21642486/t/5f19cdc0a3b2c66613fd7751/1595526595097/Declaration+of+Support+for+RE+in+Mexico_English+and+Spanish+versions.pdf.
- “Global CEDI Statement of Intent.”
- “Joint Statement of Support for High-Ambition Power Development Planning in Vietnam.” Clean Energy Investment Accelerator, November 17, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b7e51339772aebd21642486/t/619565dd1cf92a0d50c0013b/1637180894505/CEIA+Vietnam+Joint+Statement+to+GVN_2021.11.17.pdf.
- “New Balance CDP,” 2021.
- “New Balance CDP,” 2022.
- “New Balance Says Its Sneakers Will Leave Zero Carbon Footprint by 2050,” April 12, 2022. https://www.mainepublic.org/environment-and-outdoors/2022-04-12/carbon-footprint-new-balance-says-its-sneakers-will-have-net-zero-emissions-by-2050.
- “Product Sustainability,”, https://www.newbalance.com/product-sustainability.html.
- “Statement of Mutual Aspiration: Supporting Renewable Energy Procurement for Commercial and Industrial Sectors in Indonesia.” Clean Energy Investment Accelerator, 2021. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5b7e51339772aebd21642486/t/6119c1cfc64e0324746bb812/1629077968156/Statement+of+Mutual+Aspiration+-+Indonesia.pdf.